May 15 2012

Tennessee Governor Signs Bill Moving Petition Deadline for Newly-Qualifying Parties from April to August

Source: Ballot Access News

On May 10, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed SB 3700, which moves the petition deadline for newly-qualifying parties from April to August. It also gives newly-qualifying parties the choice of whether to nominate by convention or primary (if they want a primary, of course they must file before the primary). This bill only passed because minor parties won the 2010 lawsuit and also the 2012 lawsuit, against the early deadline.

This is an example of the kind of reform that can occur, when judges strike down restrictive ballot access laws. The new Tennessee law will not injure election administration to the slightest degree. Although the state is appealing, the only remaining important issues on appeal are: (1) whether the state must give all parties an equal chance to appear first on the ballot; and (2) whether the Constitution and Green Parties should remain on the 2012 ballot.

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